Wednesday 20 November 2019

Prediction - How the remainder of the Football Championship will play out... who will be champions?

Where will Sam Maguire be heading in September?
Where will Sam Maguire be heading in September?

Cormac Byrne

Before we begin, this is just a bit of fun, I have no psychic abilities (to my knowledge) and don't stare into fires hoping the future will reveal itself to me.

With 12 teams left in the All-Ireland football championship and the projected path to the third weekend in September clear, we thought it might be interesting to predict the outcome of the remaining fixtures in the race for Sam Maguire.

Various rankings of the contenders left in the race have been released over the past few days but who will emerge victorious and and at what stage will your team come a cropper.

Round 4A Qualifiers

Cork v Mayo

The Westerners finally find their scoring touch and win at the Gaelic Grounds, with no pitch invasions from irate fans but joyous children flocking to Aidan O'Shea for selfies at the final whistle. The introduction of Donncha O'Connor prompts a mini-revival for the Rebels but a Diarmuid O'Connor goal puts the result beyond doubt.

Prediction: Mayo 1-16 Cork 0-12

Galway v Donegal

Galway's season end with a whimper and are physically dominated by a young Donegal team led by the imperious Michael Murphy. Paddy McBrearty scores six points from play.

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Prediction: Donegal 1-14 Galway 1-11

Round 4B Qualifiers

Monaghan v Down

The Farney men gain revenge for their Ulster final defeat. Jack McCarron returns to the form he illustrated in the league. Darragh O'Hanlon makes up for his Ulster final miss by finding the net for Down.

Prediction: Monaghan 1-18 Down 2-9

Kildare v Armagh

Kieran McGeeney's former charges end Armagh's involvement in the championship. The open expanses of Croke Park suit the Lilywhites more than the Orchard men and they win a high-scoring affair.

Prediction: Kildare 1-22 Armagh 2-14

All-Ireland Quarter-Finals

Dublin v Monaghan

Monaghan play ultra-defensively and try to hit Jim Gavin's men on the break. It's close at half time but Dublin turn on the after-burners and run out easy winners. Monaghan finish with 14 men late on after one of their players receive a black card after they've used all their alloted subs.

Prediciton: Dublin 2-19 Monaghan 1-12

Tyrone v Kildare

Kildare strike for an early goal through Daniel Flynn (his third of the campaign) and lead up until the 60th minute when Tyrone banish the memories of all the missed chances that went a-begging against Mayo and survive by the skin of their teeth.

Prediction: Tyrone 1-18 Kildare 1-16

Roscommon v Mayo

Mayo draw near-neighbours in the last eight and reassert their position as the top team in Connacht. Roscommon are ahead at the interval but midfield dominance allows Stephen Rochford's men to forge through.

Prediction: Roscommon 0-14 Mayo 1-16

Kerry v Donegal

Kerry send out a serious statement with a comprehensive win over the Tír Conaill men. Paul Geaney and James O'Donoghue run riot as Donegal's young guns become overawed by the occasion.

Prediction: Kerry 2-18 Donegal 1-11

All-Ireland semi-finals

Dublin v Tyrone

Diarmuid Connolly is available but must be satisfied with a place on the bench. A tetchy but absorbing encounter sees both sides end with 14-men. Connolly is sprung with 15 minutes remaining and kicks two huge points. Sean Cavanagh scores a goal on his final game for Tyrone but it's not enough.

Prediction: Dublin 0-23 Tyrone 1-16

Kerry v Mayo

Ferocious tackling and intensity from Mayo frustrates Eamonn Fitzmaurice's men but Mayo spurn a number of goal chances and ultimately fall short.

Prediction: Kerry 1-15 Mayo 0-15

All-Ireland final

Dublin v Kerry

The contest the country has been waiting for comes to fruition. A tit-for-tat opening 35 minutes ends nine points apiece. Dublin have their noses in front but a long ball into Kieran Donaghy causes consternation and Stephen O'Brien pulls on the ball and it flies past Cluxton. Kerry kick an insurance point while Dublin are pushing for an equaliser through James O'Donoghue. Dublin are denied the three-in-a-row and Sam returns to the Kingdom.

Prediction: Dublin 0-17 Kerry 1-16

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